Drowning accounts for all 7% of injury-related deaths and is the third leading cause of accidental injury death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. There is nothing more exciting than spending quality time in and around water when temperatures rise. For women, swimming, boating, or paddling can be an excellent opportunity to lose weight, reduce stress and anxiety. Water has a calming effect that makes you feel good and relaxed. In simple terms, taking a dip in the ocean or pool is one of the best ways to beat depression. However, water presents a lot of dangers if the right safety measures aren’t followed. In fact, downing can occur in an instant and result in severe injuries or death. To ensure you stay safe while swimming or taking part in other water activities, you must be cautious. Here are 8 water safety tips every woman should know to prevent drowning in swimming pools, lakes, or other bodies of water.
Enroll in Swimming Lessons
Enrolling in formal swimming classes is essential as it provides you with the skills to survive in the water when an accident occurs. You never know when you might fall into a pool, dam, lake, or be in a flooded area, and your only chance of survival is swimming. Women who learn how to swim know the basics of keeping themselves, children, and others safe while swimming or playing in the water. They’re also in a better position to raise water-confident children. As a mother, you want your kids to enjoy swimming and have respect for water. If you’re confident in the water, you can rest assured your children can be safe in water under your supervision. Therefore, consider signing up for swimming classes in a community center or neighborhood pool.
Learn First Aid Essentials
In addition to learning swimming tactics, learn first aid basics like cardio-pulmonary resuscitation or CPR, artificial respiration, self-rescue, and how to rescue others. There are many benefits of knowing CPR around swimming pools, and the top one is the ability to revive someone who has drowned. When a person drowns, they become unconscious after several breathing attempts, and they could die if not rescued immediately. Performing CPR once a person has been removed from the water can help them breathe properly, hence prevent death.
Avoid Deep Waters
As a general rule of thumb, you should only swim in depths where you’re comfortable. If you’re a beginner, consider swimming in the shallow parts of the pool. Avoid going to deeper ends than your abilities because deep waters increase the risk of experiencing swimmer’s cramps. Cramping can harm your swimming skills, resulting in drowning. When swimming in the sea, stay within safe areas and swim parallel to the seashore. It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced swimmer, swimming farther into the ocean increases the risk of dangerous situations. Currents or riptides can drag you far away from the seaside, making it difficult to return to land safely. You may also get knocked down or thrown against rocks by rough waves.
Embrace The Buddy System
Swimming is fun and a great way to unwind from daily stressors as you enjoy some alone time. However, never attempt swimming without company. There are many risks involved in swimming solo, and they could lead to fatal consequences. You risk slipping and falling, experience muscle cramps, or get injured, and if there is no one to help, you can drown. That’s why it’s wise to stick to the buddy swimming rule. This entails swimming alongside a relative or friend with excellent skills and looking out for each other to prevent drowning. Even when a professional lifeguard is near, always have a friend watch you swim. Having a friend swim close to you increases the response time if you cannot maintain your balance due to cramps or an injury. They can help you out of the pool or sea and call for help to ensure you stay safe.
Beware of Your Swimming Environment
Naturally, women don’t take risks like plunging into lakes, pool holes, and rivers like men. That’s why you are less likely to drown unless you overlook the importance of understanding your swimming environment. Before you can dive in a pool or lake, look around to ensure it’s safe. Check for signs that discourage diving or prohibit it altogether. If there are no signs, inspect the water to ensure it’s clear. Nonetheless, avoid diving as the water depths might be too shallow or deep. Always get inside water bodies with your feet and slowly. This trick helps you determine if the water is shallow, rocky, or deep. Diving into shallow parts headfirst can result in severe head or spinal cord injuries. On the other hand, jumping into an unknown depth increases the risk of drowning. Deep waters tend to be colder and have hidden currents that often drag swimmers, even the most confident ones deeper or far into the water. Most importantly, avoid quarry lakes because they tend to be deep and have colder temperatures than other lakes. A dive in quarries causes a gasp response, which leads to instant drowning.
Look Out For Hazards
Besides investigating water depth, be cautious of hazards that may interfere with your swimming capabilities. For instance, steer clear from drains built inside pools. This is because body parts like arms, hair, toes, torso, and fingers might be caught in drain suctions. If the drain systems have strong suction, they can easily hold you underwater for a long time. Chances of drowning are high if no one is around to assist you. To avoid fatal incidents, put on a bathing cap if your hair is Alternatively, tie your hair into a short ponytail or bun and avoid submerging your head inside whirlpools and hot tubs.
Underwater railings, toys, ladders, and removable swimming pool equipment are other water hazards you should watch out for before jumping into a pool. They may have spaces in between that may trap you and make you drown. Get into the habit of inspecting pools and inform a lifeguard about objects that could trap you. Open water bodies also have unknown or hidden dangers. You could get trapped by underwater plants and weeds, or hit by logs or rocks in rivers, lakes, or dams. You may also be dragged deep into the water by tidal currents. To enhance water safety, beware of potential risks, and avoid swimming deeper or far beyond your abilities.
Life Jackets Are Essential
Many people believe life jackets are for beginner swimmers and pets only. But that’s far from the truth. Using a life jacket is one of the most effective ways of reducing accidental drowning risks, even for the most experienced swimmers. So, despite your age and aquatic skills, putting on a personal floatation device while swimming, boating, kayaking, or surfing in open waters could save your life in case of a mishap. Floatation vests help you stay afloat when a boat capsizes, or you’re caught in riptides. While all life jackets seem effective, it is always best to choose those certified by the National Coast Guard. That way, you can be sure your floatation vest is made of high-quality material and has an ideal mechanism to help you float with your face up to keep your airway open. Also, ensure you’re wearing your life jacket correctly to increase your chances of surviving when submerged in water. Keep in mind a loose flotation vest will help you float. However, it might not keep your face up, thereby increasing the risk of suffocation, which leads to drowning.
Hydration is one of the most overlooked aspects of sporting activities, especially those involving water. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced swimmer, there are many reasons why you should stay hydrated when swimming, surfing, boating, or paddling. Like other activities, water sports cause dehydration. Failure to hydrate can cause muscles to cramp and changes in body temperature. You might also feel weak or experience cardiac arrest. As a result, you may lose your balance and end up drowning. Hydrate before, during, and after swimming to prevent injuries and unintentional death in pools and open waters. Ensure you bring a bottle of water and have it by the poolside. Never drink pool, ocean, or lake water, as it may contain bacteria, chemicals, and other contaminants.
Swimming and playing in and around pools and natural water bodies is a great way to enjoy leisure time, keep fit, and even socialize. Whether you choose to swim, go boating, or kayaking, you can rest assured of enjoying many health benefits. You’ll experience improved heart health, better endurance, enhanced motor skills, and reduced stress levels. But water can pose a danger if you aren’t careful. You risk drowning if you lack swimming abilities or fail to follow basic water safety guidelines. To enhance personal safety around water, learn how to swim, know your swimming surroundings, and watch for water body hazards. Also, use life jackets and embrace the culture of swimming with friends.